Respecting Men Isn’t Anti-Feminist

I’ve been reading too many cutesy Pinterest articles lately. Seriously. Too. Many.

I have adorable workout-clothes crafts, probiotic gluten free vegan muffin recipes, and so many inspirational sayings I could start my own “Van Down by the River” sect. But, the most ridiculous memes I have been noticing a lot lately are the articles reminding women to “respect” their husbands.

Really? Why is this a problem?

Have women become such termagants that we need an entire interwebs meme reminding us to be nice to men? Apparently yes.

And, that’s pretty sad.

When did women (or men for that matter) decide that equality equals … for lack of a better word: bitchyness?

Now, someone will intentionally jump all over me that thousands of years of subjegation has forced women into subserviant roles that we must break away from. To which I ask: how are you, today, in this very moment being subjugated? 

Not in an escoteric sort of way, in a real and tangible way based on your own actions?

Are you making less than the men you work with? Did you actually negotiate your salary in advance?

Do you pull an unfair amount of weight around the house? Is that perhaps because your definition of clean is more arduous than your roomates/partners?

There is a world where women are treated horifically, raped, beaten, and forced into prostitution to avoid starvation and homelessness.

If you are one of those women, kick, scratch, bite and buck until you throw off the patriarichal unfairness that binds you. Please! For the future of your children’s children, Don’t respect the men who forced you into those dehumanizing positions.

If, however, you’re a mother of three living in the suburbs with a mortgage that’s paid by two people who work together (inside of the house and out) how about before you make another joke about your “helpless husband”, take a minute to ask yourself, “Did I marry a mouth-breathing moron who lived in a cage before I brought him home from the store and socialized him?”

If the answer is no, give the guy a break and throw a bone of praise and the good dirty lingerie his way every once in a while … you know, treat him like the boy you married.

No adorable retro-wall art or biblical post required.

Though the golden rule still applies: if you were a fly on the wall hearing your significant other say the things about you that you say to, or about, him, how would you feel?

Take THAT stupid cleaning commercials that make modern men look like domestic neanderthals!

She Who Gossips

I hate the phrase catty. I find it insulting, genderist, and diminishing to all women. But, sometimes a bitch and a cat have to get into a little scrape – and rare is the cat who comes out the winner in that battle.

Growing up, my mother always said, “He who gossips with you will gossip of you.” And, this week I was reminded again how true that is – when malicious gossip was aimed my way.

I’ve known this new career position I took would make me a target. It’s high profile with some very sexy perks. But, I didn’t realize how much of a target I’d become, or how closely I’d be watched.

I expected the standards for me would be higher. I expected the workload would be more demanding, and the stress level palpable at times. I knew I would be expected to keep an international schedule: twenty-four seven, three sixty five (with 15 days of PTO tucked in).

What I forgot, in moving from a field where I worked with all men to a universe where I am surrounded by almost all women, was that I needed to relearn the tricks of navigating the high school bullshit that comes from working in a leadership role while surrounded by “girls” just beginning their careers.

I wasn’t particularly good at navigating feminine nuance when I was seventeen. I dealt with the drama by deciding to pretend to be impervious to gossip.

I squared my shoulders, put on my sluttiest three inch “leave-on boots” and did whatever the hell I wanted – while staying firmly on the honor role.

Professionally, that isn’t quite so easy. I am required to “make nice” and I now have to repair the branding damage that some loose-lipped water cooler talk has generated.

Gossip is the behavior of the weak.

My newest career challenge: Playing an adult game with childish “girls” who haven’t learned that real power comes not from whispering in dark corners, but in keeping one’s counsel, and biting one’s tongue.

Powerful people say what they have to say boldly, directly, and openly – and the rest can lick my stiletto as I climb over them on my way up the ladder.